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Meet Dana Cowden

Today we’d like to introduce you to Dana Cowden.

Hi Dana, we’re thrilled to have a chance to learn your story today. So, before we get into specifics, maybe you can briefly walk us through how you got to where you are today?
I had a full career in healthcare before coming to the entertainment industry. I was a surgical nurse both in the Military and then in the private sector. I always loved writing and published a few articles as a nurse. When I was ready to transition out of healthcare, I knew I wanted to write. I ended up taking a class in directing and another in producing and I fell hard for filmmaking. I’ve been devoted to it ever since. I started out writing screenplays for feature films. Then I decided I wanted to direct but I needed practice, so… I started writing short film scripts. The very first was no dialogue and I did everything but act in it. My actor was great but I was learning… clearly. I made several more moving up in complexity. Then in January, I directed my first feature film, Nova. It’s all been just learn and do.

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
There are always struggles. What filmmaking has taught me is that often those struggles turn out to be what makes each project interesting or adds something you never would have thought of. We dealt with Covid when filming Nova. It forced us to have a very compressed schedule. We realized the only way to be able to do it was to build lighting into the sets. That way we could move quicker. One of the most beautiful and touching scenes is when the actor playing Abilene is overwhelmed with emotion and crumples in the hallway. Because we put in lights down the hall, we ended up with this gorgeous and sad image of him alone in the long hallway.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
My films tend to be led by strong female characters that are ordinary women thrust into extraordinary situations. I love to dig in and see what makes them overcome. I think it’s something we can all identify with, right? I imagine very few people live a charmed life with no crisis ever. I think it helps to watch an ordinary person fight to overcome. And I try to always at least have a hopeful ending. I know I’ve had enough depressing sadness in everyday real life. I want to leave an audience with hope.

Alright so before we go can you talk to us a bit about how people can work with you, collaborate with you or support you?
My production company is Buffalo Productions LLC. Anyone can reach out and email me at We have our own little studio that we do most of our own filming in but also work with other filmmakers on their projects. Nova has been selected to premiere at Other Worlds Film Festival in December. We’re thrilled about that! Join us on Facebook at: or Instagram @novafeaturefilm

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